Royal Delta has been retired, and if you’re looking for some sentimental sap about how great she was, then go someplace else. I say ‘good riddance.’ I was a big skeptic for most of her career, and she cost me a lot of money betting against her….particularly in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup. And then, after I finally came around after seeing her at Saratoga this past summer, I singled her in the Beldame and touted her in the Breeders’ Cup, only to see her lose. (The only times I was right about her was when I ridiculed her chances in the two Dubai World Cups that she floundered in.) So, I’m not a big fan, despite her accomplishments. It’s a gambling game.
Well, she didn’t really look as if she wanted to do this anymore, anyway, based on the lack of fight she showed in her last two starts. I’m happy she retired sound, and wish her well in her new career being an annual foal-making machine. (Has anyone ever mused as to exactly how humane that practice is? Though I suppose she’d be out frolicking with the boys in the wild anyway.) She’ll be bred to Galileo; seems like a routine mating, inbred to the usual suspects, Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector. Don’t bother me with speculating on what the foal will be named – I don’t care.
– In the third at Aqueduct yesterday, the Pearl City Stakes, Uno Duo was barely ever in it at 3-10, ouch! Tom Durkin seemed skeptical about the whole thing from the start, and actually seemed to revel a bit in her futility. She’d been beaten at even money in her last start. This time at least she finished in the money. Miss Mischief ($7.80) won easily in her first start for Asmussen; she’s by Into Mischief out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare, and descends from the distaff family of the Kentucky Oaks/Alabama winner Proud Spell.
At Churchill, another money burner went down in flames in the 8th race. Air Squadron was soundly beaten at 1-2 after losing his prior at 4-5, and is now winless in his eight well-bet career starts. Tarpy’s Surprise ($17.40) was the winner, for trainer Dale Romans, getting a clean trip this time. That wasn’t the case in his prior two starts. Our trouble line comments were as follows:
The competition’s abbreviated comments were: ‘Swerved out; lost iron,’ and ‘Lacked room, steadied.’ While they give you the idea that the horse had problems, they hardly give you the mental picture of the efforts that the more detailed comments do.
Tarpy’s Surprise is also by Into Mischief; he’s out of a mare by Vicar who’s a half-sister to the crack sprinter (Fall Highweight Handicap, Hirsch Jacobs Stakes) True Direction.
Looking for some money-burning types today? In the 10th at Churchill, With Diamonds (#4, 6-5) was beaten at that same price in her last. She drops in class and cuts back in distance just 11 days later for trainer Michael Maker, who seems anxious to find her a new home. Her only win came on the grass (this race, as her last, is on dirt), and the Pace Projector does not bode well for her chances today.
[UPDATE: This race has been rained off the turf. Huh? Rain in SoCal?] In the 6th at Hollywood, Magic Daddy (2-1) lost on synth at 9-5 in his debut, and then finished a distant 10th at 7-2 on dirt, for trainer Bob Baffert. Today, he tries turf, and his trainer’s ratings for the relevant surface categories are not very promising.